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ATI Linux Users Get Excited For Catalyst 10.10

AMD

Published on 11 October 2010 12:39 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
36 Comments

In what has become an unfortunate tradition for the past few releases, prior to the release of Ubuntu 10.10, AMD provided Canonical with a pre-release of their latest proprietary Catalyst driver at the time. They have done this to fix some major bugs, but primarily to provide a working ATI/AMD proprietary graphics driver that will run against their latest Ubuntu Linux release as usually their latest public releases at the time do not support Ubuntu's kernel and/or X.Org Server. With Maverick Meerkat, which was released yesterday, there is a pre-release of the Catalyst 10.10 Linux driver, which will not be released to the general public until later in October.

The Catalyst 10.9 driver does not offer support for X.Org Server 1.9, which is used by Ubuntu 10.10, so in late September AMD had sent over an early Catalyst 10.10 driver to Canonical that offers "early look" support for this xorg-server that reached a stable status in August. Those running Ubuntu 10.10 and enabling the proprietary ATI/AMD support are using this driver.

X.Org Server 1.9 support though is not all that's found to be changed with the Catalyst 10.10 driver. For the past two weeks there's been a thread in our forums called ATI Miracle where those using this driver have been talking about the changes. Besides this binary blob working with X.Org Server 1.9, there's reports of v-sync (vertical synchronization) being fixed, 2D acceleration fixes (on their Direct2D-derived architecture), fixes when using Compiz, and six pages worth of other comments, which are mostly positive towards this driver release.

This is great news for early adopters of Ubuntu 10.10, but the Catalyst 10.10 Linux driver isn't easily attainable by users of other Linux distributions or early Ubuntu releases until later this month when Catalyst 10.10 is officially released to the general public via their generic driver package. Those really wanting this driver can find the Debian package on Launchpad or in the Maverick repository and extract the files and hope it works in their operating system configuration, but that's far from ideal.

Now though in another thread in our forums, it's been brought up that there is now a Catalyst Linux driver leak of version 10.10 via a German web-site. Be forewarned, however, that this Catalyst 10.10 x86/x86_64 Linux driver is a pre-release and not the final version that will be out later this month. There's also some release notes for this driver that were found with this leak.
Release notes:

* Kernel module build fix for x86_64 kernels with security fix for CVE-2010-3081
* Generalized kernel module build fix for CVE-2010-3081 to work on RHEL and SLED/SUSE
* Ubuntu 10.10 early-look support (Xserver 1.9 support)
* Updated packaging scripts to support Ubuntu 10.10
* openSUSE 11.3 production support
* Fixed packaging scripts for SLED/SUSE
* Updated packaging scripts
* Checks for available video memory in CCC-LE before allowing to enable memory-intensive features
* Fixed Xserver segfaults and soft hangs when VT switching back to X
* Fixed missing CCC-LE icons in the System-Preferences menu
* Fixed corruption in Xinerama mode
* Fixed CCC-LE Gamma correction applied to wrong displays on openSUSE 11.3
* Fixed text corruption in Steam games
* Added missing maverick symlink in Ubuntu packaging script directory
* Fixed X version detection problems in installer, fixes installation on Fedora 11

We'll comment more once the Catalyst 10.10 Linux driver is made officially available via AMD's web-site.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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